What follows is an excerpt from Pope Francis' remarks to the people of the Varginha shantytown in Brazil. I remember well visiting the shantytowns outside of Lima when I was there as a seminarian in 1981. So I pictured what this visit must have been like for the poor of Varginha.
"From the moment I first set foot on Brazilian soil, right up to this meeting here with you, I have been made to feel welcome. And it is important to be able to make people welcome; this is something even more beautiful than any kind of ornament or decoration. I say this because when we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them – some food, a place in our homes, our time – not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched. I am well aware that when someone needing food knocks at your door, you always find a way of sharing food; as the proverb says, one can always “add more water to the beans”! And you do so with love, demonstrating that true riches consist not in material things, but in the heart!"
There is as much wisdom here as in an entire encyclical, don't you think?
WLP artists Danielle Rose and the Jacob and Matthew Band are in Rio with the pope right now. How blessed are they!
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.